Ryhope CW moved into fourth place in the Second Division promotion race with a dramatic 3-2 success against Willington at Hall Lane.
Damien Stevens was an early marksman for the Wearsiders and, after Anthony Lee levelled, Josh Home Jackson put Gary Pearson’s men 2-1 in front.
But soon afterwards, the one-time Sunderland player was shown a second yellow card and Willington took advantage, with Lee heading in the equaliser. Time was fast running out, but Chris Trewick hit Ryhope’s winner to make it five successive league victories.
Although they are 12 points off the top, Ryhope have three games in hand on all the three teams above them.
South Shields once again stole the show.
A crowd of 1,412 saw them blitz Tow Law Town 9-1 as the goals flowed at Mariners Park.
David Foley, with a hat-trick, Lee Paul Scroggins (2), Warren Byrne, Daryl Hall, Adam Sakr and former Sunderland star Julio Arca all notched, after the Lawyers had gone in front, thanks to Adam Burnicle’s strike.
The Mariners remain eight points ahead of second-top Chester-le-Street, who also hit scoring form in a 4-0 victory at Heaton Stannington.
Scott Heslop bagged a first-half brace and, after the interval, Dan Hepplewhite and Ben Johnson also netted.
Darlington RA, 4-3 winners at Thornaby, are up to third.
Billingham Synthonia slipped back to fifth, following a surprise 2-1 defeat at home to Brandon United, and Easington Colliery are sixth.
Despite playing against 10 men for half an hour, they needed an 88th-minute Bryan Norton goal to earn a 2-2 draw at Birtley Town, for whom Mark Bailes scored twice in the first seven minutes.
Jordan Thompson pulled one back on 23 minutes and the Colliers must have fancied their chances when Birtley were reduced to 10 men – but stoic defending by the hosts kept Easington at bay until just before the final whistle.
Esh Winning won 3-2 at Crook Town, courtesy of efforts from Graham, Andrew Hall and Liam Clark. Philip Caley and Damon Ellis replied for Tony Boakes’ side.